Rohan Bopanna Slams Cockfighting in New Ad
Rohan Bopanna is no stranger to the pressures of the sporting world: whether it’s performing at Wimbledon or the French Open, Rohan chooses to step onto the court, but no rooster opts to spend his life in a cage or fight to the death in a ring. That’s why Rohan is making a racket about the cruelty of cockfighting in a new ad for PETA shot by pro shutterbug Sam Mohan. Rohan’s hair and make-up were styled by Tejal Rao.
“When it comes to cockfights, [roosters] are taught to be aggressive”, Rohan says.
Roosters raised for fighting are often kept in cramped cages and tormented in order to incite violent behaviour. Razor-sharp spurs or knives are attached to their feet to make the fights bloodier, which spectators – who are usually placing bets – find more exciting. The birds’ eyes may be gouged out, their wings and legs broken, their lungs punctured or their spinal cord severed.
“Cockfights never really have a victory. One dies, another one gets injured,” Rohan explains. The roosters who die during or after a fight are considered “lucky” compared to those who survive and are forced to keep on fighting.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, prohibits forcing animals to fight. And in 2014, the Honourable Supreme Court of India ruled in favour of PETA India, confirming that staged fights between animals are illegal throughout the nation – but cockfights are still organised in some parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and elsewhere.
You can help Rohan end the barbaric treatment of roosters by immediately notifying the police or a local animal-protection organisation or writing to [email protected] if you hear about a cockfight.